Recently, my girlfriend and I have been discussing moving to a house that has a garage. I'm 32 years of age and the last time I drove a car was in 1998, when I failed my test for the third and final time. In between fails two and three, my test was cancelled three times in a row. Two of those cancellations were because it was snowing too heavily. They were the only two occasions it snowed that year. Fate? Laziness? You tell me.
I want a garage so I can re-live my youth. When I was at school and college, I was in four different bands and I must have written at least three or four albums worth of song lyrics. I should say at this point that none of the bands I played with could play or sing a note and the closest we got to even rehearsing was showing each other crudely drawn album covers each of us had created. If there had ever been an idea for a Spinal Tap prequel, we might have been it.
But the idea that maybe one of those fictional bands I headlined back in the day could finally get some good rehearsal space in the confines of my own home seemed too good to be true. Thinking about it now, learning to play an instrument still sounds too much like hard work, so maybe the man cave wasn't so much of a good idea after all. Time for plan B...
We're getting married in a years' time, and I'm trying to get in shape for the biggest day of my life. I've lost 7lbs so far, but "the wall" is approaching fast. "The wall" is that moment when you really have to start upping your game, and that means purchasing equipment or a decent pair of running shoes and hitting the roads. Either way, it's a lot of pain...
When I was at college, my brother and I used our parents' garage for boxing training. We had a giant, heavy punch bag that was tied to the structure of the roof and we both beat the hell out of it. It was like Rocky IV, except that neither of us had beards and there wasn't an 80's soundtrack accompanying us (most of the time). But it was very cool and it got me thinking that it would be very cool to have a home gym in the garage. I'd look pretty awesome on my wedding day if I had a years' worth of gym time in me, without the social embarrassment of having to run on the roads as a red-faced, sweaty mess.
That was it. I had made my decision. The man cave/band thing was a pipe dream. The gym was a viable idea that both of us would be interested in. I looked into equipment, eyeing up some awesome punch bags, bikes and weights. Then I looked into security, eyeing up types of garage doors and openers so that I wouldn't have a Kevin Spacey in American Beauty moment or worse - somebody actually saw me working out.
The final step was to convince my girlfriend that it was a good idea...
She come home from work to find me smiling, and with dozens of order forms and papers laid out on the table. I was ready to state my case.
"I've been thinking about what you said about getting a garage. I think it's a great idea, and I've drawn up some plans on what to do with it."
She just rolled her eyes at me, smiled and said: "I already know what we're doing with it.
"We're keeping my car in it."
And with that, any dreams of revisiting the garage days of my youth were over. Time to man up and buy a pair of Asics running shoes, perhaps?
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